Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 24, 1999
Priest spells out pro-life guerrilla tactics
By WCR Staff
Welcome to Creative Littering 101 with Father Tom Lynch. He should be a good teacher. After all, he's a professor of moral theology and ethics at St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough, Ont. He's got the credentials.
Lesson one: Scribble something on a piece of paper. "Abortion kills babies," or anything which spells out a pro-life stance.
Lesson two: Strategically place these pieces of paper in a public place. Perhaps a bathroom in a mall, or a lounge in the students' centre at a university campus.
Put it in a place where people will be intrigued enough to pick it up and look at it. We are all curious creatures by habit, your scrawlings will be read.
And even if readers then crumple up your paper and airball it into the nearest trash bin, your mission has been completed - you've gotten someone to read it.
Getting the message across is the key to a successful pro-life campaign. If the message isn't portrayed to the masses, the message will die, said Lynch.
"It's what I call creative littering," Lynch said. "It's effective, it's cheap - and it works."
Lynch was among a panel of speakers at Alberta Pro-Life's annual conference May 14 and 15. Other speakers included Ted Gerk, director of Life InterNET, and Denise Mountenay, former executive director for Christians for Life, who lived the abortion experience first hand.
"There's always two victims in abortion," said Mountenay, who had her first abortion at 16. "One dead and one wounded."
The event kicked off May 14 with a demonstration at the office of federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.
Creative littering wasn't the only cheap method of widespread advertising Lynch recommmended. Pro-life farmers can use their barns as backdrops for billboards.
"Trucks, they have to be parked somewhere," Lynch said. "You put a (pro-life) poster on your truck, you have an automatic billboard. That's guerilla tactics, but it works."
Some of his tactics may seem harsh to pro-lifers who wish to be apolitical and quiet, but Lynch said "Who cares? I'm not in this to be liked."
Lynch advises enlisting
half a dozen of the oldest people in one's parish, who often feel they cannot contribute to a cause, and ask them to write down the names of the people at the Church service.
"These people (in the pews), these are the people you want to target and call up for support," Lynch said. "These people already believe (in pro-life)."
Lynch also encourages pro-life groups to set up a fund to cover the cost of legal and research services.
"The (United) States are far ahead of us in this," Lynch said. "They put money into even the littlest court cases, but these are still important."
Since the Internet is fast becoming a powerful information medium, Lynch encourages the production of web pages as the most effective and inexpensive means of advertising.
"They can gag you, but they can't gag the Internet," Lynch said. "If you can't do it, find someone who can. There's a lot of people who won't hold a sign for us, but they'll build a web site without thinking about it."
In a world where special interest groups are conceived almost daily, the most important survival tip for pro-life groups is communication among each other. Groups, locally, provincially and nationally must all unite on the same front.
"You have to talk individually, you have to talk together," Lynch said. "When you go back to your group in Calgary, go back to Grande Prairie, you're not isolated."